Wednesday, February 5, 2014

#IWSG: I'm Not a Full-Time Writer ... Yet / Alex J. Cavanaugh's CassaFire on Sale

 

It's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group meeting. IWSG was created by the awesome ninja captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, and you can find out the other members of the group here.

Back in November, I made a shocking discovery about myself. It's something I should've realized when I started my first novel (Reborn) on January 15, 2009, but I guess I've been in denial. 

I'm not a full-time writer. 

I have a full-time day job as a library assistant for a small academic library. I've had this job since December 1, 2008. When I don't have day job related work, I can do as I please. Read, edit, blog, write, spend too much time on Facebook. But when I'm at the day job, that work comes first. That's what they pay me for, after all.

But I wanted to write and publish like a full-time writer. I see other people writing 3,000+ words a day. They publish four, six, twelve novels a year! I wanted to be just like them, so I set goals, tons of goals, to write and edit and blog and everything else all these full-time writers could do. And sometimes those goals were finished on time. Most of the time, they're not.

Something was always not getting done. I would always finish my day job work, but if I replied back to blog comments, then I didn't get any writing done. If I wrote, I didn't get editing done. If I edited, nothing else got done.

I started to think about what I wanted to write and publish months and years ahead (I think I was up to 2020 or more), and it all overwhelmed me. I lost a day or two of writing in my NaNoWriMo novel because of that. Then, it smacked me in the forehead. I need to work like a part-time writer. Duh! Trust me, I'm usually quite more brilliant than this.

So what am I changing?

No more thinking I can publish four novels a year. I have two to three works (Reborn and People of Foxwick and Their Neighbors and Remarked) lined up for publication this year. Two out of the three are written and in various stages of edits, and I'm slowly starting to write Remarked, The Fate Challenges #1.5 Novella, which I hope will be around 20,000-30,000 words. Next year in 2015, I'm looking at two to three publications (Reigned, a prequel novel in The Fate Challenges, and Reforged, a novel, book two of The Fate Challenges, and possibly Loveless, a short novel, which is book one of Less Than Princess Perfect), but we'll see. I won't publish any of them, if I don't feel they are ready.

As you've seen I'm cutting back on blogging. I love blogging, but it eats up a ton of time. Last year, I cut down to twice a week, so 8-10 posts a month per blog. Yes, people, I had two blogs, so it was more like 16-20 times a month. I dropped Surrounded by Books Reviews, and I'm posting once a week on Wednesdays on this blog (I'm still over on Untethered Realms' blog too, but that's less frequent). Of course, my blog schedule is subject to change for various reasons, but Wednesdays are mainly when I'll post. Mondays are always busy at work. I'm not always at work on Fridays, since I have an alternating schedule (Monday-Saturday one week and then Monday-Thursday the next). Wednesdays seemed like a good idea, and I didn't want to give up IWSG and Indie Life!

I'm giving myself more time to write and edit. I don't want to make deadlines I can't keep. I keep saying I won't, but I still have here and there. I hope to do better with it this year.

I won't be so hard on myself when I don't complete a goal on time. Goals are flexible. I need to keep that in mind.

Maybe one of these days I'll be a full-time writer. It's the main goal, but until then, I'll be content writing part-time.

Are you a full-time or a part-time writer?




CassaFire by Alex J. Cavanaugh
Amazon Best Seller!
Only $0.99!
Sale runs 2/4/2014-2/10/2014
Science fiction - space opera/adventure
EBook ISBN 978-0-9827139-6-9

CassaStar was only the beginning…
 
The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.

The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren's civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan's technology and strange mental abilities.

To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves, the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

“This sequel to Cavanaugh's first novel, CassaStar, delivers on the promise of its predecessor, combining military action sequences and political intrigue with strong, memorable characters. Reminiscent of the action-driven stories of Robert A. Heinlein's early fiction…” - Library Journal

To Purchase: Amazon Kindle / Amazon UK

46 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks for mentioning the special on CassaFire!
I'm not a full time writer either. (And I'm odd because I never want to be one.) We have to realize that with a job and other duties, our schedule will be different.
Glad you've decided to take some of the pressure off yourself!

Clare said...

Adjusting to having a job and writing has been tough for me too. I'm still getting the hang of it. I think what's important is doing your best. If you write X amount of words in a week, but know that's the most you could have done because of other commitments and you haven't slacked off, then you should be proud of yourself.

Good luck keeping up with the work-writing-life balance!

jaybird said...

Cherie, I am always amazed at the goals you set for yourself and wind up keeping! As a "part time" writer you are killing it. You have achieved so much. But I have to agree that finding time to blog, write, edit and comment is quite a challenge. You have to do what you feel is right when it comes to balancing that time properly.

Christine Rains said...

Awesome post. You make a very good point. I'm trying to behave like a full time writer too. I'm happy you're taking it easier on yourself. I'm doing a little better myself, but there's balance I haven't found yet.

Karen Walker said...

So glad you've taken that kind of pressure off yourself. I no longer have a day job, but still don't consider myself a full-time writer because then it would be a "career" and I'm turning 65. Instead, I consider myself to be a retired person who writes.

M.J. Fifield said...

You make excellent points here. I am a part time writer and may always be a part time writer—it's time I work like one, too.

Great post!

Brandon Ax said...

It is all about adjusting to your life. The best way to be successful is to take on what you can handle and do it to the best of your ability. Good luck on all your works.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I'd also love to be a full time writer and am taking steps to get there. Although I'm not even sure what the definition of it is lol. Writing 8 hours a day? Getting full time pay for one's work? Not having a day job? Or a night one? I kind of struggle with the whole concept.

River Fairchild said...

I wonder if that's the key to my procrastination? Maybe I'm doing nothing because I'm overwhelmed with trying to do too much? Thanks for the insight, Cherie. I'll quit flogging myself and maybe start accomplishing more. :)

DMS said...

Yeah for Alex! :)

I think it is wonderful that you realized you were setting goals like a full-time writer and that you needed to make changes. It is good to set goals, but if we constantly set goals we can't attain then we feel stressed out and bad about ourselves. It sounds like your new plan is much better and you will be accomplishing a LOT!

Best of luck!
~Jess

Rachna Chhabria said...

I am always awed by the number of books some writers publish in a year. Like you I am trying to set goals and stick to them. I am not a full time writer either.

Al Diaz said...

I've never been successful in complying with goals but I've read it helps a lot to keep goals realistic. Otherwise it all turns into stress and frustration. I'm glad you're making an adjustment that works better for you.

And just on a fun note, whenever I read your banner, I always read SPECTACULAR instead of SPECULATIVE. Must be my ongoing admiration betraying my eyes. ;)

~Sia McKye~ said...

You're doing it smart Cherie. You're realistically looking at what you have to do, and adding the goals of what you want to do. You're buying out the time you have to do what you need.

I hear you on juggling. I'm still doing it and I've come to realize that I have to take a long look at what I want to do and adjust accordingly. That means cutting back as well. Otherwise it's a frustration in futility and that sucks the joy out of you.

I'm just getting back up on the writing horse after a fall. I have to work right now so now comes the juggling and using my time wisely.

Go Cherie!

Sia McKye Over Coffee

Sherry Ellis said...

I'm not a full-time writer, either. I have too many other jobs. I admire people who are, and who crank out that many words in a day!

Rachel Morgan said...

You know what's funny? I had this exact same realisation TODAY! I keep telling people I meet that I've been a full-time writer since I stopped teaching. And I was for a few months last year. But ever since I started working for publishers and other authors (the Morgan Media stuff), I HAVEN'T been writing full time. I can't expect to write 5000 words a day if I also have to do revisions on someone's book cover and create an epub for someone else. So my plan to publish four books this year is probably just a LITTLE over ambitious!!

Anyway, you know what? I still think you get an amazing amount of writing and editing done considering you have a FULL DAY job as well. So go you :-)

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

Just reading about your idea of being a "part-time writer" has me exhausted.
Congrats on taking stock of your time constraints, though. Whatever amount of time a person has for writing, that should be an enjoyable period in their life, not rushed, pressured, or depressing.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Now that the kids are grown, I can spend time writing almost full-time. If I may be bold enough to say that publishing 1 book a year is an awesome goal! 2 books a year is phenomenal. For me writing is a slow process and editing is like a dragging snail. You're doing great,Cherie!!

M Pax said...

I can only crank out 3K a day when under deadline... it seems.

I've switched to other projects this week and am fighting myself to settle into it. Shrug.

We do what we can. We are who we are.

Seems a lot of folks are cutting back on the blogging. I made that same decision for the same reason. It eats up so much time I could spend moving my projects farther along.

Patricia Lynne said...

I'm a part time writer too. Full time writing would be awesome. I hope you reach it someday.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Was a full time writer, now longing for my husband to be well again, writing must wait.

S.K. Anthony said...

Goals really are flexible. We do what we can, I think the most important thing is to not give up and keep going. I'm pretty sure I would benefit from starting to think of myself as a part-time writer as well, thanks for this post and good luck making it work, you can do it ;)

Carol Riggs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Catherine Stine said...

I happen to think that publishing two novels a year is pretty spectacular! As for me, I work part-time as an adjunct lit professor, and I have a few thesis students doing MFAs in creative writing (long distance, via emails). I am lucky that I have pieced together a strategy that allows me time enough to write.

Carol Riggs said...

Go, Alex! :) You're right, Cherie--blogging takes a lot of time. I've cut back to posting twice a month. Eeek, publishing 4 novels a year. I'm lucky if I can WRITE one new novel a year...which is enough, really. I'm a full-time writer. It's even more difficult for people who have "real" jobs besides writing. Good luck with your goal-flexible changes!

Jenni Enzor said...

I'm a part-time writer myself, and I am in awe of 2 novels a year. I'm really happy with myself that I finished my last one in a year and a half. But I love what you say about knowing your limits and making priorities.

planetpailly said...

I guess I'm a part time writer. I keep track of the time I spend writing and doing writing-related things, and it usually comes out to about 20 to 30 hours per week.

The important thing is to set goals that are manageable, not to overwhelm yourself by trying to write an entire library of material every other month.

-James

Julie Musil said...

I'm not a full time writer. I'm a part time writer with a busy family life. I get done what I can get done. If the floor isn't mopped or a chapter not finished? The world keeps turning!

Cathy Keaton said...

Good for you, Cherie! Goals are not for beating ourselves up when we don't accomplish them. They are just sign-posts for us along our journey, which will always be changing.

I don't even know what type of writer I am. Just one who writes when I can and that's good enough for me. I can't write more than I'm able to.

Doreen McGettigan said...

Good for you! I should follow your lead and lighten up on myself with more realistic goals.

Donna Hole said...

I found myself in this same predicament a while back. I want to write full time, but don't have the time. Even when I do, I think more about nap time and staring at the TV.

It good you know you have some limits on your time. Facing reality gives you more time to devote to writing, and writing related accomplishments.

......dhole

Natalie Aguirre said...

Can so relate to this, Cherie. I work full-time at a demanding job and have a family. Social media takes up lots of my writing time, which isn't much to begin with. For this year, with everything going on, I just have to write when I can. But next year, I will have done everything for my daughter and I'll more time to write because no more volunteering and she'll be going away to college.

I also cut down the blogging to Mondays and 2 Wednesdays a month plus my blog hops. It's hard to say no, but I'm trying to be firm on this. And I read less blogs Thurs-Sunday to free up time.

Tracy Terry said...

Great post, interesting, insightful and inspirational.

Emilyann Girdner said...

You always have such great goals set and make so much progress. I'm really excited for your coming publications and I'm glad we will still see you on Wednesday :) I know what you mean about, i work a day job too and it is tough to get everythig done I hope to. Fortunately, I feel like the blogging community is pretty forgiving about missing posts. I feel so blessed by you and all my writing buddies. I hope you have a great week. :)

Rusty Carl said...

What a great plan you have. I still do that whack a mole thing with my balancing act. I'm always behind on something. You, it appears, have it worked out pretty well.

And I'm part time... big time part time.

readfaced said...

I am definitely a part time writer. Sometimes barely a writer at all. It is so true that a day job is the priority because it is what allows us hopefuls to be able to spend anytime working on our craft. Beyond that I have a family that needs me, so they trump writing a lot of the time. Welcome to the part timers. I think we are the norm.
Leanne Ross ( readfaced.wordpress.com & @LeanneRossRF )

Lexa Cain said...

Even with cutting back, you are way more productive than I am. I just get swamped somehow. Everything takes much longer than I think it will. I don't have a job, and still can't get ONE book written in a year. Good luck on all your projects! You're doing great!

M. L. Swift said...

Although semi-retired (I'm still young), I took care of my mom for years. She just passed and other family issues took her place that make me more of a part-time writer. Trying to make it more full-time.

M.L. Swift, Writer

Trisha F said...

I'm not a full time writer either - I have a full time Mon-Fri job. And I actually like it that way. I tend to become a total slacker when I am on holidays and have aaalll thaaaat tiiiime to write. I tend to actually write LESS when I am not having to cram it into my evenings after work. ;)

So for my part, I'm happy to continue this way. Besides, I'd never make as much money writing alone as I do at my day job, unless I became the next Rowling or Meyer or something. :P In which case I'd be making MORE, which would be pretty cool.

Kimberly said...

That's my goal too, someday. :)

I don't know where you are getting the energy, but I sure wish I had some of it. :)

Medeia Sharif said...

I'm a part-time writer, but I hope to be full-time one day.

Blogging does take a lot of time. I blog 2-3 times a week.

Cher Green said...

Great post. I had this long comment typed up and then it was gone. :( Basically, I used to be a full-time writer with a part-time job. And, without me realizing it, those roles reversed, yet I kept trying to go at the same pace. Time to be realistic. I AM a part-time writer, and it's time to act like one. :)

Milo James Fowler said...

I'm a full-time teacher AND a full-time writer, thanks to a great deal on 48-hour days at Costco. You know how to strike a balance. Write more, blog/social-network less is working for me.

Heather Holden said...

I hope you're able to write full-time someday! But even though you're only a part-time writer at the moment, you are pulling it off tremendously well, I think. You always amaze me with how prolific you are!

Nicole said...

Hugging this post! Being a full-time writer is the dream, but I'm still in part-time mode and working to make the most of it. I cut down blogging to once a week last year too, and it's given me more time to write!

Jack said...

Working as a part time Author sounds like a good idea. There is just so much that has to be put into writing and publishing that setting too many goals always back fires. I hope this goes better for you.
I got Alex Cavanaugh's book! I can't wait to read it! I loved the first one.

Jay Noel said...

I love this post. I too have a day job. In fact, my family depends on my income. So for me, this is pretty part time.

Something has to give, and it's been my blogging too. I only post once (maybe twice) a week. And one point, I was blogging every other day.

You've got the right attitude, and it's one I'm working to adopt.